The PM’s pick?

'Good enough for Stephen Harper. Good enough for you." If Darrell Pasloski's campaign to succeed Premier Dennis Fentie had a snappy slogan, that might be it.

‘Good enough for Stephen Harper. Good enough for you.”

If Darrell Pasloski’s campaign to succeed Premier Dennis Fentie had a snappy slogan, that might be it.

The 50-year-old pharmacist carried the Conservative banner during the 2008 federal election. Now he wants to be premier.

During this campaign, he’s happily traded off his connections with Canada’s new Conservative majority government. He’s met the prime minister on several occasions.

And Pasloski claims he helped persuade Ottawa to fork over $71 million to expand the Mayo hydroelectric facilities and unify Yukon’s energy grids – an announcement made while he was a federal candidate.

This week, Pasloski was endorsed by Brad Cathers, the Yukon Party’s member for Lake Laberge. That could carry a lot of votes when the party votes on May 28.

After all, Cathers nearly dethroned Fentie during the party’s annual meeting one year ago. Fentie only staved off the insurrection by promising the leadership race currently underway.

Cathers sits as an independent after quitting cabinet during a noisy falling out with Fentie over the ATCO energy privatization scandal. Pasloski vows to bring Cathers back into the Yukon Party fold and mend party divisions.

“Darrell is a problem solver,” said Cathers. “He’s a hard worker. And he listens to good ideas and advice wherever they come from. I believe Darrell is the right man for the job.”

Pasloski has also been endorsed by Rob McIntyre. He’s a founding member of the Yukon Party, former president of the Yukon’s chamber of mines and chamber of commerce, and ex-VP of Alexco Resources.

To demonstrate his loyalty to miners, Pasloski vowed to not meddle with the Yukon’s free-entry system of staking claims. And he’ll negotiate a better devolution deal with Ottawa, so the territory keeps a larger share of mining royalties.

Pasloski would also try to persuade Ottawa to keep sending additional cash to prop up Yukon’s health-care system. On that point, it would be hard to find a politician of any stripe who would disagree with him.

Beyond these pronouncements, it’s hard to pry concrete details from Pasloski on how he would solve Yukon’s challenges.

Though a fiscal conservative, he won’t rule out running deficits. Pasloski won’t even admit Fentie has run up consecutive deficits, much like Fentie himself.

He vows more money for social programs, but he won’t specify which ones.

He muses about vast pools of natural gas beneath Eagle Plains, but wants to consult experts before suggesting a solution to Yukon’s impending energy crunch.

The draft plan to protect four-fifths of the Peel Watershed “goes too far,” but Pasloski won’t give any specifics on what he thinks is the appropriate balance between mining and conservation.

“I don’t think we can start arbitrarily tapping numbers.”

To prepare for the mining boom, he’d boost spending to enforce existing regulations.

He won’t delve into ATV regulation. “I haven’t been fully briefed. I need to have a better understanding.”

This blandness could be his biggest advantage.

Jim Kenyon must persuade Yukon Party voters he’s not damaged goods, after being entangled in Fentie’s scandals.

Rod Taylor must convince party faithful he’s a team player, when, not long ago, he blasted the government for not doing enough to protect the Peel Watershed.

Pasloski, it seems, just needs to avoid making any big mistakes.

He’s run a more open campaign than the 2008 federal election. That’s to say he now actually speaks to reporters. But, when asked a question, his eyes still occasionally light up in alarm, as if he’s worried he’ll be bitten.

His scripted speeches are heavy on buzzwords. To wit: “It takes a team to run a government and that is my leadership style – I’m a team leader and a team builder. I will be taking a collaborative Team Yukon approach to leadership.”

Hardly exciting stuff. But if the Yukon Party wants a blemish-free candidate, Pasloski’s the closest fit.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Most Read